Public History Program

MA of Public History

About Our Program

CU Denver's team and its extensive network of partnerships with Colorado museums and historic sites have built a strong and dynamic graduate program to train Public History professionals. CU Denver faculty designed this applied history program to move historical work beyond the walls of academia and into the community. Public historians deepen community roots and create a potent sense of place. The CU Denver Public History Program specializes in training students to work in museums, heritage tourism, on digital projects, and as consulting historians in a variety of settings. Public historians also collaborate with interested parties to produce books, brochures, exhibits, landmark nominations, business and institutional histories, family histories, documentaries, and tours.

All students can gain valuable professional experience through our department’s focus on internships and research opportunities. Our department has placed students in positions at a variety of organizations including: History Colorado Center, Center for Colorado and the West, Denver Public Library, Colorado Railroad Museum, Historic Denver, National Park Service, and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Certificates in Museums Studies and Digital Studies are also available for those planning a more intensive concentration.

Program Overview

Major Field Electives: 9-12 credits

These courses in public history focus on methodology and practice and count toward the 18 credits that make up the major credit total. These courses include:

  • HIST 5133, Management of Material Culture and Museum Collections
  • HIST 5228, Western Art and Architecture
  • HIST 5229, Colorado Historic Places
  • HIST 5240, National Parks History
  • HIST 5242, Oral History
  • HIST 5243, Public History Administration  
  • HIST 5244, Interpretation of History in Museums: Exhibits and Education 
  • HIST 5245, Heritage Tourism
  • HIST 6992, Seminar: Colorado Studies

12 credits of electives in the minor field. Electives include readings courses, which address specific field historiographies, and research seminars.

  • HIST 6013, Introduction to the Professional Study of History. This course introduces students to historiography and historical practice. This course is required for all History graduate students.
  • HIST 5234, Introduction to Public History
  • HIST 5260, Digital Studies